Shelby County Indiana
Martin Luther Jenkins
Among the enterprising farmers and public-spirited citizens of Hendricks township is Martin Luther Jenkins, a man of high standing and wide influence in his community and a representative of an old and highly esteemed family whose history has been identified with that of Indiana since about the year 1812. Mr. Jenkins' paternal ancestors were among the early settlers of Massachusetts of which state his grandfather, Prince Jenkins, was a native. His father, Oren Jenkins, was also born in the same commonwealth and first saw the light of day on Cape Cod, where the family appear to have resided for many years. About the year 1812 Prince Jenkins moved his family from their New England home to Franklin county, Indiana, making the trip by wagon and flat-boat, and experiencing many vicissitudes and not a few hardships on the way. Shortly after arriving at his destination he entered a quarter section of land in Franklin county, which he improved and upon which he lived the remainder of his days, having been accidentally killed by falling from the top of a fence years after migrating to this state.
Oren Jenkins, who accompanied his father to Indiana, after living for some years in Franklin county, removed to Preble county, Ohio, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits and where he continued to make his home until 1866, when he changed his residence to Shelby county, where his death occurred two years later. He was reared a farmer and in connection with agriculture taught school for a number of years, and studied medicine which he practiced to some extent in Ohio and Shelby county, Indiana. He was a prominent member of the Christina church and an influential local politician of the Republican party, and in different capacities proved a valuable man to his community and a high-minded, praiseworthy citizen.
Charity Cregar, wife of Oren Jenkins, was born near Springdale, Ohio, and departed this life on the family homestead in Shelby county in 1887, at the age of seventy-four years. She, too, was a devoted member of the Christian church and a woman of many sterling virtues whose influence made for the good of all with whom she mingled. She bore her husband five children, all of whom grew to maturity, their names being as follows: Eliza, Anna B., Minerva, Oren and Martin L., of this review, the last named, and Anna B., of Nebraska, being the only survivors of the family at this time.
Martin Luther Jenkins was born April 27, 1843, in Franklin county, Indiana, and spent his early life at the place of his birth, receiving a good education in the public schools. When a lad ten years of age, he accompanied his parents to Ohio, and after living in the counties of Butler and Preble, that state, until 1866, removed to Shelby county, Indiana, since which time he has been closely identified with the agricultural and general interests of Hendricks township for the last forty-three years. Mr. Jenkins taught school for eleven years, but his life has been principally that of a tiller of the soil. His farm, containing one hundred and twelve acres, is admirably situated in one of the finest agricultural districts of Hendricks township, is well improved and under a high state of cultivation and compares favorably with any other place of like area in the county, the buildings being modern and in good repair, and everything on the premises bespeaking the presence of an intelligent and up-to-date agriculturist, who believes in the dignity of his vocation and keeps in close touch with the times in all matters relating thereto.
Mr. Jenkins is a Republican and an ardent supporter of his party, but has never been a politician, much less an office-seeker. He was a devoted friend of the Union during the Civil war, using his influence in maintaining a loyal sentiment in the community.
Mr. Jenkins has been twice married, the first time in 1867, to Mary E. Piatt, daughter of Benjamin and Anna (Carter) Piatt, of Bartholomew county, who died in 1880, leaving besides her husband, six children to mourn their loss, namely: Augusta, who is single and resides in Salt Lake City, Utah; Samuel, who married Ida Alexander, now lives in Johnson county, Indiana, being the father of two children, John and Fay; Ollie, the third in order of birth, is the wife of Lewis Rinehart, of Shelbyville, and the mother of one son by the name of Russell; William B., the next in succession, is a farmer of Shelby county, and the head of a family consisting of a wife and one child by the name of Lucile, the former before her marriage having been Salina McMahan. Della, the fifth of the subject's children, died in 1895, the youngest being Fred P., who married Lillie M. Seely, and who recently moved to Canada, where he is engaged in agricultural pursuits.
Mr. Jenkins' second marriage was solemnized in 1892, with Mrs. Mary A. Shafer, nee McGinnis, a native of Shelby county. She is highly esteemed in the county where she resides. Like her husband, she is a sincere member of the Christian church.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick, B.A., assisted by well
known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 978-979.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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